Madison Miller / staff photo
                                Valley Center Stage and Si View Metro Parks are partnering to debut a new musical, “The Gingerbread Man.” From left: Natalie Collins, Rebecca Zatloukal and Meha Shah.

Madison Miller / staff photo Valley Center Stage and Si View Metro Parks are partnering to debut a new musical, “The Gingerbread Man.” From left: Natalie Collins, Rebecca Zatloukal and Meha Shah.

VCS debuts new musical, “The Gingerbread Man”

VCS and Si View Parks partner for new summer musical.

A classic Mother Goose-inspired musical is coming to life at Valley Center Stage (VCS) this summer.

“The Gingerbread Man,” is an original musical written by Seattle-based playwright and composer Paul Lewis.

This will be VCS’s third Lewis production. VCS will be debuting Lewis’ “The Gingerbread Man” July 20 at Si View Park.

Narrated by a wise-cracking crow, “The Gingerbread Man” is a tale of unlikely friendships and the wonder that happens when love, kindness and the power of imagination come together. Gretchen, a young orphan with a heart of gold, hopes to bring life back to Tin Town by helping the kindly baker and his wife make a delectable, whimsical and respectable dessert in the form of a gingerbread man. With an added touch of love and imagination, the gingerbread man comes to life and must run-run-run as fast as he can to save the town and his friends.

Directed by Julie Lester, “The Gingerbread Man” will be her directorial debut. As a longtime member of VCS, Lester said she’s enjoyed being a part of VCS and is excited to move into directing.

“I’ve always been involved with musicals. I came to the very first musical at VCS,” she said. “There’s just nothing like this in the Valley.”

Lester said preparing for the recent production has been challenging, especially with a shorter timeline compared to other VCS productions, but has brought joy nonetheless.

“One of the goals is to work with the people you love and create something for the community,” she said. “It’s been so great to work with these kids that I’ve known for so long…they’re growing up right in front of me.”

Many of the children in the cast have been in several VCS productions in the past. Zoe Farnsworth, 15, and her sister Kenzie, 13, have been involved a few VCS musicals, including “Caps for Sale.”

Zoe stars as Gretchen in “The Gingerbread Man.” Kenzie stars as Tom the Tinkerer.

“It’s been really fun working with everyone again,” Zoe said.

“It’s great to work with Julie and being directed by her,” Kenzie said. “It’s great to be directed by someone we’ve already worked with.”

“She’s like the cool aunt,” Zoe said.

Sharda Shah, 9, and her older sister Meha, 13, have also starred in previous VCS productions.

Sharda stars as the Gingerbread Man and Meha stars as Heather and Young Man in “The Gingerbread Man.” Both commute from Sammamish to be a part of the VCS production.

For Sharda, this is her first role in which she’s cast as the main character. She said she’s enjoyed playing the Gingerbread Man.

“I really like being the main character,” she said. “I like meeting new people and working with Julie.”

They, too, said they have enjoyed being a part of VCS.

“I really love seeing the familiar faces and meeting new people,” Zoe said.

“The bonds you form here are amazing — you’re welcomed into a family,” Meha said.

“You get to just have fun,” Kenzie said. “You meet new friends and be a part of a dependable family.”

As part of its summer program series, VCS and Si View Metro Parks are partnering again to bring another family show for a free outdoor theater experience on July 20 at 10:30 a.m. and July 21 at 4 p.m.

“The Gingerbread Man” will continue for three more performances at VCS July 25 at 7:30 p.m., July 27 at 2 p.m. and July 28 2 p.m. Tickets are available on-line or at the door.

For more information, visit VCS website http://valleycenterstage.org/.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Madison Miller / staff photo
                                Rene Schuchter, Rich King, Kristin McLeod and Grace Combs rehearse for “The Gingerbread Man.”

Madison Miller / staff photo Rene Schuchter, Rich King, Kristin McLeod and Grace Combs rehearse for “The Gingerbread Man.”

Zoe Farnsworth stars as Gretchen in VCS’s “The Gingerbread Man.”

Zoe Farnsworth stars as Gretchen in VCS’s “The Gingerbread Man.”

Rebecca Zatloukal, Kenzie Farnsworth, Hannah Lin, Natalie Collins, Rene Schuchter and Grace Combs will perform in “The Gingerbread Man.”

Rebecca Zatloukal, Kenzie Farnsworth, Hannah Lin, Natalie Collins, Rene Schuchter and Grace Combs will perform in “The Gingerbread Man.”

Rebecca Zatloukal, Kenzie Farnsworth, Hannah Lin, Natalie Collins, Rene Schuchter and Grace Combs will perform in “The Gingerbread Man.” Madison Miller / staff photo

Rebecca Zatloukal, Kenzie Farnsworth, Hannah Lin, Natalie Collins, Rene Schuchter and Grace Combs will perform in “The Gingerbread Man.” Madison Miller / staff photo

More in News

A look at COVID-related unemployment in Snoqualmie Valley

Economist says numbers are similar to what they’re seeing across the state.

Nurse Sylvia Keller, pictured with Gov. Jay Inslee, is on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle in Yakima County. Courtesy photo
Governor doubles down on mask rules

Inslee: Starting July 7, businesses do not serve those who do not wear a mask

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Human remains in West Seattle identified

Bags of body parts were found in a suitcase along a West Seattle beach on June 19.

Stock photo
Eastside burn ban implemented June 15

The ban will be effective through Sept. 30.

Courtesy of the SnoValley Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.
Annual count shows uptick in homelessness in Snoqualmie Valley

More people are living unsheltered in the valley.

According to King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) annual report, Seattle had the highest rate of people using services at 36 percent of the total, followed by 31 percent from South King County, 18 percent from the greater Eastside, and 7 percent from north county including Shoreline. Courtesy image
Drug courts, officer de-escalation programs impacted by MIDD cuts

The fund provides money for mental illness and drug dependency programs across King County.

Summer vehicle travel projected to decrease this year

Traffic this summer will likely be lighter across Washington state than previous… Continue reading

Governor Jay Inslee smiles and laughs Sept. 3, 2019, during a speech at the Lynnwood Link Extension groundbreaking in Lynnwood. A Thurston County judge ruled he exceeded his authority when he vetoed single sentences in the state transportation budget in 2019. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
Judge invalidates Gov. Inslee’s veto in roads budget

Lawmakers said the governor crossed a constitutional line.

Most Read